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First Bar-B-Q in Kyrg...Shenanigans...Forever!
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JAllen
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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Location: Bishkek

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10 11 4:26 pm    Post subject: First Bar-B-Q in Kyrg...Shenanigans...Forever! Reply with quote

Starting a new restaurant in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. A small country on China's Western border. Small investment, big risk. This is the play by play.

Background: After laying claim to the first Pizza restaurant in Central Asia (fsu) and pizza chain "The Pizza Hona" in 1993, I got a real job out here, and worked around the FSU until 2006. In 2007, my wife and I opened "Rodeo Burger," a chain with the goal of opening CAsia's first drive thru. While the burger idea worked, we were unsuccessful in organizing a drive-thru, mostly as I had cold feet about the investment. In hindsight, we should have done it.

After honing my BBQ skills thanks largely to the smokering and its members, Smokies Bar-B-Q is open in Bishkek. We're about to find out how hard it is to take home BBQ skills to a restaurant.

One issue right now is holding/reheating absent professional holding/reheating cabinets. Any advice would be great.

The place has a great bar, and we're planning a very limited menu. Beef, chicken and some PP. 3-4 sides. Sandwiches, plates and by the kg.


I'll post pics of the place, and pics of the build are going in cookers thread.


For the past 7 months this site has been a great source of knowledge and advice. Thanks smokering.

JAllen[img]M[/img]
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ecocks
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Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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Location: Baku, Azerbaijan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12 11 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, shame you didn't catch the Ole Hickory smokers that were over there for the troops before they shipped them back.

How are you thinking that pork BBQ will play out over in that neck of the woods?
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12 11 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use your pit as a holding device. Cook in batch size you expect to use fully, and when it is near done, lower the cooker temp to a proper holding temp. Or you could stagger start times, so you have fresh meat coming out every hour or so, then when it is all cooked fully, drop cooker temps to holding temps.

Oh, good luck! You must have a set of brass one swinging to and fro to take a risk like that.
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JAllen
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16 11 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecocks Re: quantity of pork in this area, very little. I'm planning 10%, maybe one day a week. We'll probably try some lamb at some point; my previous smokes showed that lamb is not the best for BBQ. Any advice in this area would be great.

Harrynutzak, thanks for the holding advice. We'll see how the new pit works. I'm hoping to smoke 5-6 hours and then move to a conventional oven, foiled or not to finish and hold. I'd like to minimize the use of expensive oak while maintaining flavor. I'm worried about drying, so I'm planning on experimenting with injecting and foiling. Any advice would be great.

I want to have finished product starting at 5pm, staggering finishing times. Anything left would go for sandwiches at next day's lunch. How's this sound?
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valleypigs
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19 11 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had great luck with smoked lamb...both whole and leg of lamb, bone-in and boneless. I smoke leg roasts similar to boston butts, but not as long. I rub with a mixture of olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, etc. Smoke until 140, then wrap in foil until 170 or so....yeah, I know...overdone. BUT...it will shred similar to pork. Or you can leave at 140-150 and slice. I sell smoked lamb gyros with marinated onions/tomatoes, cucumber/yogurt sauce in a pita wrap. I would image a culure that likes their lamb well done would like it like this. People in my area at festivals love them.
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19 11 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

valleypigs, thanks. This is the recipe I tried. The garlic/rosemary taste doesn't go over too well here. Have you tried anything with cumin/pepper, etc.? Also, the legs I cooked on plum didn't really have much smoke flavor. What wood do you use?

JAllen
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ChuckieD
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19 11 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JAllen,
I just wanted to say good luck with the new bbq place! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
I'll be watching your progress! my bbq brother! Wink
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valleypigs
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20 11 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not a big cumin fan, so I have never added it to a rub. I cant imagine a rub heavy on pepper with whatever the local spice of choice is would be turned down though. Find what the locals like and give it to them, regardless of your tastes.

I typically use oak for most of my cooking. A little hickory when I have it, some apple but it is a very subtle smoke. I prefer white and red oak.

let me know how the cumin rubs turn out!
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24 11 1:24 pm    Post subject: logo progress Reply with quote

logo work in progress...any constructive comment will be appreciated


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JAllen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24 11 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pic of the inside tables and bar


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daddywoofdawg
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24 11 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: logo progress Reply with quote

JAllen wrote:
logo work in progress...any constructive comment will be appreciated


Awesome graphics! I would choose starting at 1=top left, 2=top right,3=second down left,etc
I would choose #2 with #4 Bar B Q
How do people around there feel about American?if that has any issues then I would choose #1
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fat hen grill



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24 11 2:17 pm    Post subject: lamb rub Reply with quote

i have cooked a lot of lamb in my day. I use a rub to marinate lamb that consists of:
coriander seed
cumin seed
toast this then grind
add
fresh garlic
black pepper
salt
a lot of chopped minced parsley
and very little fresh basil
a little brandy
and olive oil
add brandy and olive oil until it is like a thin oatmeal . rub on meat and marinade for at least 12 hours.
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24 11 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daddywoofdawg, thanks for the comment. I'm debating the American addition right now. So far, most locals like it, saying, "It's a restaurant, man, not politics."

fat hen grill: thanks for the recipe. I'll give it a whirl later this week when the smoker comes on line.
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valleypigs
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26 11 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same thought on the "American" angle...not that I am not proud to be an American, but I dont have to sell and base my business plan to non-Americans.

I was in Norway in the mid '90's and even there we had some anti-American sentiment. From what I have heard, most of the world is not pro-US. Sad as that is, it could effect your business if you have to overcome that jsut because of the name.

I met an Israeli who blamed the US on the degradation of their culture on McDonalds coming to Tel-Aviv. I told him not to blame the US...blame themselves as a business will only go where they make money. If the locals don't like an American restaurant, then they should not patronize them.

Back on point....consider how your name may effect your business. Even those that say it aint politics, some potential customers may consider it a statement and hold it against you. Something to think about.....

good luck
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ecocks
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26 11 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife (FSU gal) and I both liked the lower right one with the flames and easy-to-read letters.

Last edited by ecocks on Thu Jan 27 11 1:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jarhead
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26 11 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with ecocks on choice and reason.
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27 11 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jarhead and ecocks, thanks for the feedback.

1. going with easy to read letters.
2. no "Real American"
3. I have until tomorrow to decide on the bull or the bonfire. My stepmom told me the bull looks angry, which is why she wouldn't choose it.
4. BBQ is built, except for cosmetics. Cooked brisket and pork butt today. Actually, the butt is still in as it's 1130pm and we called it a day and left it for the night pitboss. He'll let me know how it came out. If there's none left tomorrow, I'll know it was good. Cooker holds a good 230 with minimal tinkering. This considering we built it using the dodis spreadsheet in the cooker stickys. (thank you Tom, Dodis, and Alien? for organizing this) We used about 30lbs of oak for the 7 hours' cook that I was there. When I left the butt, it was at 182, no foil and it will come out at 193.

http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h361/JAllenBBQ/DSC02806.jpg



firebox leaked smoke, so you see a second layer of brick drying here.
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Last edited by JAllen on Mon Jan 31 11 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ecocks
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27 11 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to hear JA!

Is the firebox off to the right or behind the unit?

I noticed something in the FSU region. They get weird about that appearance. My wife (Ukrainian) was worried that our logo has a pig amidst the flames and customers would be horrified that we were burning the poor pig.

There are customer perceptions and our perceptions. I know BBQ places that insist on saucing the meat to their spec and telling customers this is the way they should eat it and I know ones who offer plain or lightly seasoned meat and an array of sauces for customers to do their own. Both ways work depending on the market and food quality. The same applies to being too proud of your mac n' cheese, potato salad or beans in the face of criticisms from customers or reviewers.

Do what works!
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27 11 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecocks, firebox is to the right of the smoker. My wife is Russian, and I was happy she liked the angry bull. We've showed the logos to a bunch of people with mixed opinions. First BBQ in Kyrgyzstan, so there's nothing to compare to. From a marketing point, an argument could be made to just call the place "BBQ" and capture the whole segment.
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27 11 3:09 pm    Post subject: Now to business... Reply with quote

Remember we're in a developing economy.

residual business from previous renters is much less than expected. We estimated about 10 customers/day dropping $10. First two weeks we averaged 3. Still no signs, advertising or meat. Just the bar and fries and hushpuppies and chips, etc. We put in plasmas, bar lighting and some outdoor lighting.

If we can average 30 customers/day, net will be about 3k/mo.

we have two employees at 250/month. one of them stays overnight as guard/ pit monitor. they have great electrical/masonry/ woodworking, etc. skills between them. Other than that it's me and my wife. we have two toddlers who finally chased away the first evening babysitter after only ten days. I told my wife to get ready for a long line of sitters.

breakeven is about $250 per day, (assuming 300% markup) with about 2k/mo operating expenses. This markup puts us pricewise at about 30% higher than competitng restaurants serving shishkabobs. bbq is expensive. Initial investment in kitchen, repairs, etc. 10k.

Operating loss for this month will be about 1.5k. I expect that for the first 3-4 months. we have a huge outdoor and very nice seating area for about 150, and will need to pack that this summer in order for me to agree to continue this risky adventure further.

the country had a bloody revolution last year (second in five years) and there is talk of another one after the spring thaw.

we should have logo end of week, website first week of feb and outdoor signs second week of feb.
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Last edited by JAllen on Thu Jan 27 11 11:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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